"Hi, you've reached, 555-1212 and I can't take your call right now. Please leave a brief message and I'll get back to you."
This is an all too familiar outgoing message, but how often do people really leave a brief message? Better question, do people really understand what 'brief' means? In case there is need for clarity, here is Webster's definition...Main Entry: 1brief Pronunciation: 'brEf Function: adjective Etymology: Middle English bref, breve, from Middle French brief, from Latin brevis; akin to Old High German murg short, Greek brachys1 : short in duration, extent, or length2 a : CONCISE b : CURT, ABRUPT- brief·ness noun.
Okay, now that I've gotten that established, I'll continue. So, when one hears an outgoing message, one is to do exactly as the one being called asks..."leave a BRIEF message...", but why, oh why do people insist on leaving messages that damn near equate to full (and one sided) conversations? There is no need whatsoever for that; well, I'm sure there are a few occasions, but I do emphasize of 'few'. The worse thing is, after listening to the lenghty voice message and you return the call, the caller preceeds to repeat in additional detail the message they left. By that time, you're sitting with the phone away from your ear as not have to hear it, but leaving enough listening distance to respond if necessary.
I used to feel bad for being that way, but you know what? I don't anymore. I mean, why should I? If you took it upon yourself to leave a message that comprised of everything that is now being repeated, why do I need to listen? In fact, why should I even call back? You've said everything in the very detailed message. But if you want to hear something really funny, let me share this story with you.
So, I knew someone who was notorious for doing that and her boyfriend had had enough of her not only leaving detailed messages at every number she had to reach him, but would call and leave supplements to the her messages. He began saving the messages and one day while she was visiting, he sat and began playing back the messages (6 in all, 3 one his cell and 3 on his home phone). Growing a little frustrated at his lack of attention, she inquired "who the _%*#_*%_ (loosely quoted) would be do damned ignorant to leave messages that long that would cause someone else to have to listen for almost fifteen minutes?" He chuckled and waved the index finger for her to wait. When he was finally done, he greeted her and told her those were her messages. Naturally, she stared at him in disbelief before denying she would do something like that "...because it was ignorant..." he played the messages back for her. She covered her mouth in shock and humiliation. From that day forth, she stopped leaving messages like that.
I was in stitches when he shared that story, but unfortunately there are still a lot of people who fail to realize that they are being insensitive when leaving such messages. In some instances, the voice mailbox can only hold a certain amount of messages and if they consume a good portion of it with their extraneous messages, they prevent other callers from leaving theirs. The worst case scenario would be in an emergency situation and they call can't get through. That would really suck.
So, in closing I say this to all...please be considerate of others when leaving your "brief" message and in addition, think about how you would feel if someone repeated in kind what you did. I'm sure you too would become a bit perturbed by it too. I'm offering classes in Phone Etiquette for the phone usage challenged! (lol)
At the sound of the tone please leave a brief message..."I'm out, transmission over!"